Cairo express buses’ fast lane to the future

Cairo express buses’ fast lane to the future
Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia have formed a joint committee to implement the so-called BRT (bus rapid transit) project and oversee its operation. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 28 August 2020

Cairo express buses’ fast lane to the future

Cairo express buses’ fast lane to the future
  • Ring road plan to cut pollution, improve mobility, says minister

CAIRO: Egypt is looking to speed up the introduction of electric and gas-powered express buses on Cairo’s ring road in a bid to ease traffic congestion and reduce pollution in the capital.

The Ministry of Transport plans to run the buses in dedicated lanes, with bus stops at major intersections.

Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia have formed a joint committee to implement the so-called BRT (bus rapid transit) project and oversee its operation.

Kamel Al-Wazir, Egypt’s transport minister, said the BRT buses will offer a connection between different modes of transportation.

Buses will run in their own lanes unobstructed by other traffic, an approach similar to that adopted in other capitals.

A ministry source said the high-frequency buses will likely be introduced after expansion work on the ring road is completed.

The ministry plans to expand the ring road to include up to eight lanes in each direction.

Transport expert Magdy Essam said that ticket prices will reflect companies’ operating costs and profit margins, and will not be supported by the government.

The planned buses will connect with the Cairo metro network at Adly Mansour Station in Salam in the fourth phase of the recently opened third line and the Rawd Al-Farag Corridor station in Giza in the third phase of the third metro line, Essam said.

Automotive expert Gamal Askar said the buses first appeared in the late 1970s and quickly became popular in major cities. The electric-powered vehicles can carry up to 4,000 passengers per hour.

According to Askar, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi believes the bus service will help Cairo — one of the world’s worst cities for motor vehicle pollution — to improve its air quality.

Askar said that Egypt has laid more than 8,000 km of asphalt in the past six years, improving the efficiency of roads, cutting travel time and helping to reduce fuel consumption.

The ring road will include eight lanes, with two internal lanes allocated for buses, he said.

Buses will be equipped to carry passengers with special needs.

Transit time on the roads should be reduced and the waiting time for passengers will be minimal. A double bus will be able to carry about 170 passengers, he said.